I am doing an old dance. I didn’t know I was doing it. I now see I’ve fallen into the same foot falls of a jig I had hoped was forever retired. And I have a partner for the rhythms and patterns of this familiar, sad routine. Somewhere throughout the years, and likely with our last profound implosion, I thought we had become evolved enough as people and mature enough as a couple that we wouldn’t be stepping back to this. Apparently not. It seems I had just managed to convince myself that I was acting differently because in our present back and forth I was justified and had the right to lash out, bring suffering, or withhold kindness. Had I understood I was wounding my favorite person ever the way I am while telling him it’s his fault that I do this- I just wouldn’t have started down this road in the first place. But I do it so naturally. My instinct kicks in. And I do the dance that is my deep down broken without even realizing the steps I’m taking. It’s like having a nervous tick manifest. You don’t even know you’re doing it.
I had expected this to be a year of respite after a tremendously challenging season. We had welcomed two foster children- a new youngest and an oldest- thoroughly disrupting birth order, raised a seed round of venture capital for my husband’s start up, sold a company, re-engineered a career, earnestly pursued growing another business, buried our first parent, and sent both foster children off to different living situations which in the long run are hopefully better, but you just have no guarantees. It’s been an emotionally depleting year, and recently a very sad season of loss. I thought the cold snap that whispered Autumn was near meant a new season of rest was blowing in for us too.
But, there still might be some PTSD to be addressed from the last year. My husband is increasingly consumed with his work, which is his oldest coping mechanism. I respond to his work like he’s rejecting me, and my weapons are drawn. I start swinging without even knowing it. He cannot figure out how to fix the situation or me, so he does what he knows & works harder. I respond with even more venom. And so we descend.
We started that again. I thought we were better than this. I thought I was better than this.
So today, in my broken and vulnerable place, I am practicing yes to being present in my shit. I cannot be different or do different on my own. So I’ve chosen a different enemy that my husband. As I write on this rainy day, buried under a blanket, minutes before my sales webinar for work, I am putting on a covering. I am too delicate, and too unkind on my own.
This is the last thing I want to say: Be strong with the Lord’s strength. Put on the things God gives you to fight with. Then you will not fall into the traps of the devil. Our fight is not with people. It is against the leaders and the powers and the spirits of darkness in this world. It is against the demon world that works in the heavens. Because of this, put on all the things God gives you to fight with. Then you will be able to stand in that sinful day. When it is all over, you will still be standing. So stand up and do not be moved. Wear a belt of truth around your body. Wear a piece of iron over your chest which is being right with God. Wear shoes on your feet which are the Good News of peace. Most important of all, you need a covering of faith in front of you. This is to put out the fire-arrows of the devil. The covering for your head is that you have been saved from the punishment of sin. Take the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. -Ephesians 6:10-17
I can be strong. But on His strength. My fight is not with my husband. I’ll take all God gives me. I’ll stand. And stay standing. Unmoved. I’ll be bound in truth, not lies. I’ll take cover under the belief there is more, it ends well, and I am cared for on the journey. I haven’t been forgotten. That’s what extinguishes the arrows of rejection. And I’ll fight on- but this is my weapon. His Word. And the enemy is the darkness. I choose to step out of the dance line. I refuse to use my words as weapons on the wrong enemy. Here I’ll stand. Unmoving.